Ballon d'Or 2019: Lionel Messi defends Cristiano Ronaldo for snubbing award ceremony

Ballon d'Or 2019: Lionel Messi defends Cristiano Ronaldo for snubbing award ceremony

- Ballon d'Or 2019 saw Barcelona star Lionel Messi emerge victorious

- The Argentine beat Cristiano Ronaldo and Virgil van Dijk to the prestigious prize

- Messi holds no beef for Ronaldo's no-show at the 2019 Ballon d'Or awards ceremony

Barcelona captain Lionel Messi has jumped into the defence of Cristiano Ronaldo following the Portuguese's decision to give the 2019 Ballon d'Or awards ceremony a wide berth.

The two football greats were gunning for the prestigious individual prize, leading a 30-man shortlist that included Virgil van Dijk.

But it was Messi who emerged victor, clinching the gong for a record sixth time -one ahead of Ronaldo who finished third.

The Barca superstar beat Van Dijk who was ranked second by a whopping seven points to ink his name in history books.

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However, Ronaldo was conspicuously missing from the ceremony hosted on Monday night, December 2, in Paris, with Messi using the occasion to defend the man he has battled his entire career.

The Argentine ace insisted Ronaldo's absence should not be twisted, adding the jamboree was great all the same.

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"He's not here because he couldn't be here," Messi noted when asked about Ronaldo's no-show. "It shouldn't be twisted. We enjoyed a great gala," the Barca hitman added.

Meanwhile, it has since emerged Cristiano missed the occasion as he was in line to pick the Serie A Player of the Year award in a separate event held in Milan on the same night. earlier reported that Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi believes Paris Saint Germain forward Kylian Mbappe stands a better chance to win Ballon d'Or award next year.

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The Argentine beat his arch-rival Cristiano Ronaldo and Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk to win his sixth award.

Dutchman Van Dijk was the first runner up while former Real Madrid star ended up third on the top three starts on the chart this year.

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Source: Legit

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